NSW Labor supports gay marriage
NSW Labor has voted to support gay marriage.
But delegates at the party’s state conference rejected a motion binding federal MPs to back marriage equality in parliament.
The vote means that despite federal Labor backing gay marriage, MPs will be able to vote on the issue according to their conscience.
It was in stark contrast to the Tasmanian state Labor conference, where a motion binding all Tasmania delegates to Labor’s national conference to vote on marriage equality passed on Saturday.
Despite the mixed result in NSW, equality advocates said the show of support for gay marriage overall highlighted the steady push towards reform.
“Support for marriage equality from the Labor Party in Australia's largest state will send a message that the reform is back on the agenda and momentum is unstoppable,” said Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome.
“With support for marriage equality now at 72 per cent, the next step is for the Coalition to allow a conscience vote so MPs across the political spectrum can represent their communities.”
Croome welcomed the binding vote in Tasmania and said AME was currrently working towards a cross-party conscience vote.
“It is consistent with Labor Party rules that all Labor members should vote for marriage equality because it is a human rights issue, not an issue of life or death like abortion or euthanasia.”
“But AME’s focus is on a cross-party conscience vote and our strategy remains one of working with individual MPs and grass roots supporters in their electorates.”
While Labor MPs are allowed a conscience vote, Coalition policy is against gay marriage.